Philemon is an incredibly personal letter, sent from Paul and Timothy to Philemon, Apphia, Archippus and the church that meets in their home.
In the book, Paul talks about Philemon’s slave Onesimus (whose name means “useful” or “profitable” which Paul uses in a wordplay in v11). Onesimus is Philemon’s
slave, and it appears he has run away from his master.
We do not know how, but somehow, Onesimus came into contact with Paul, and was converted to Christianity.
The letter is written to Philemon, stating that Paul is sending Onesimus back to him. Paul makes an appeal to Philemon to forgive Onesimus and to welcome him back not as
a slave, but as a brother in Christ. The letter is a powerful testament to the transforming – and disruptive – nature of the gospel.
We do not know for certain if Philemon accepted Paul’s appeal. But the fact the letter still exists (surely Philemon would have destroyed, rather than shared the letter if he had not done as Paul asked) would seem to make it relatively certain that Philemon did.
This set of studies covers the short book of Philemon (which has only 25 verses) in 6 short passages, and uses the Talk the Word method.
Given Philemon is such a short book; it should be possible to memorise it all!